Great news for consumers, as of September 1, 2015, the amount of personal property (as opposed to real estate) that can be claimed as exempt in Texas was increased to $50,000 for a single adult, and $100,000 for a family, both after deducting the amount of any liens on the property. Texas Property Code Section 42.001 is the Texas law that was amended.
If property is claimed as exempt, it means that it cannot be seized by creditors or a bankruptcy trustee to pay your debts. We still have an unlimited homestead exemption in Texas, that is, a creditor or bankruptcy trustee cannot force the sale of your homestead, with certain very limited exemptions.
And also to be claimed as exempt, your personal property must be items that are described in the law, generally including furniture, family heirlooms, food, farming or ranching vehicles and implements, tools and equipment used in a trade or business, clothes, jewelry within certain limits, 2 firearms, a vehicle for every licensed driver, certain animals and pets, and retirement plans and insurance.
Do you think it was right for the Texas legislature to raise the exemption cap for personal property? Please tell us your opinions or leave your comments below.
And if you live in the Houston, Texas area and are in serious debt trouble or considering filing bankruptcy, don't try to figure out what or how much of your property is exempt; it's complicated.
Instead, call our office and make an appointment to meet with Mr. Black or his associate attorney. They can advise you as to what property is exempt and what you may lose to seizure by creditors. They will also be happy to discuss your options with you and help you maximize the property that you keep.